I’d say a good tool is one you do not have to wait for MasterCraftCompanyInc to make a feature for you, when there are pathways to hone it yourself.

This follows up somewhat to my ode to WordPress as HyperCard re-incarnated, but also just what happens when I get an unexpected idea from reading someone’s blog posts.

A week or so ago while idling through items in my RSS feeds (apparently this is a waning mode of being informed, but I cannot climb on that train) , I was catching up John Stewart’s week in review post, mainly curious what he was working on. I saw him reference using the Easy Footnotes plugin on a WordPress site.

Maybe it’s because I am thinking about using the TRU Writer SPLOT for the NetNarr Final project reports but it rang a bell that footnotes would be something some people might want in a site that collects short papers.

I decided to give it a play, but what occurred to me is that adding this functionality does not call on any work by me to add to the template. But you can see a quick example of how it looks when published at http://splot.ca/writer/2019/618

It’s a matter of installing and activating the Easy Footnotes plugin.

Using it when writing, is a matter of starting at the point you want the footnote attached, adding an [efn_note] shortcode then the text that you want to appear in the footnote, and closing it with the ending [/efn_note] shortcode.

The text as editing showing locations of the footnote shortcode in the article published.
A variety of footnotes added, some with hyperlinks in them for the sample published at http://splot.ca/writer/2019/618

A great thing about this plugin is that it manages all the ordering and linking for the footnotes.

If it’s one thing I’d like, and maybe will tinker with, it’s that it’s a bit tedious to remember to add the footnotes shortcode. It’s possible (maybe) to write a plugin that could add an editor button that a user could click, it pops a dialog box for the footnote content, and it inserts it with the proper shortcode wrappers.

That’s for another day.

On publishing, I thought the footnotes where placed a bit close to the text and could use a smaller size, so this was added to the site via the WordPress customer as Custom CSS:

And because this SPLOT has Customizer features to modify the prompts for the form fields, I can even add my site specific instructions for using footnotes:

Shows the editing interface to modify the prompt on the left and how it changes what is displayed to a user in the form

The openness here is that all of this is doable without me making any changes to the theme. Just plugins and use the affordances present in WordPress.

Put a footnote on that.


Featured Image: Added some icons to image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

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